Sherlock Holmes, the Paranormal, and The Diogenes Club

Some of you know the SJ half of Sam Cabot was invested in the Baker Street Irregulars this past January.  It was an honor unexpected and undeserved.  SJ doesn’t have nearly the required knowledge to be a Sherlockian.  But there you go.



Photo: Gruber Photographers

SJ was at the dinner in this photo but you’ll never find her.

Sherlock Holmes, of course, would have no truck with ideas of the paranormal.  Something supernatural seemed to be going on in THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES — but no.  In Holmes’s world, everything had a rational explanation.

Not so in his creator’s, though.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a big believer in spiritualism — photographs of fairies, seances, that sort of romantic Victoriana.  If you click the link you’ll find the official biography supplied by his estate.  Interestingly, though it defends his spiritualism, it doesn’t mention it at all until page fourteen.  Of fifteen.

Down through the years there have been other takes, of course.  Some folks believe Holmes himself was a vampire.  The Noantri of Sam Cabot’s books like this idea, though they point out that Holmes was a fictional creation…

Another great approach is Kim Newman’s in his Diogenes Club series.  The Diogenes Club, you will no doubt remember, was founded by Sherlock’s brother Mycroft.  Newman’s thesis is, it exists to protect the British Empire from… forces.  Check it out.




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